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Music in the Tuileries

Collection: 
The National Gallery, London

 

Manet sold Music in the Tuileries to the singer Maurice Faure in 1883.


James H. Rubin notes that Music in the Tuileries is a large group portrait and identifies the various participants:

“In it Manet has assembled the bourgeois artistic and literary intelligentsia of 1860s Paris….It is an early example of self-positioning, alluding perhaps to the ambiguous marginality of the artist as both part of a world and yet its objectively distant observer. Next to Manet, with a walking-stick, is his aristocratic friend Comte Albert de Balleroy, a painter of animals and genre scenes, with whom he had shared a studio; behind and between them is the Realist apologist and supporter of Courbet, the novelist Champfleury; seated nearby is the bearded sculptor, poet and critic Zacharie Astruc, another friend, above whom is the ‘journalist of the Boulevards’, Aurélien Scholl. The younger of the two prominently seated women is Mme Lejosne, wife of the Commandant in whose house Manet met Baudelaire and the fledgling painter Frédéric Bazille. With her is the wife of Jacques Offenbach, the composer of both the Tales of Hoffmann and popular dance-hall music, who (wearing spectacles and a moustache) is himself seated further to the right, between Manet’s brother Eugène (turned to the left) and the painter Charles Monginot (doffing his hat). The most important group is that near the large tree above Mme Lejosne. Next to the tree and facing us is Henri Fantin-Latour, a member of the Realist circle and its portraitist…In the group of three, engaged in conversation to Fantin-Latour’s left is, at the left, Baron Taylor. A Frenchman despite his surname, Taylor had been involved in early Realism as the editor of illustrated accounts of travels through Spain and France; later, he was commissioned by Louis-Philippe to acquire examples of Spanish art for the King’s Spanish Museum.…To Taylor’s right is Théophile Gautier, an important Romantic author and critic…the figure who built on and transformed Gautier’s thought…stands in profile between him and Fantin-Latour. This was Baudelaire, who had been a friend of Manet for several years and was probably the greatest single external resource for Manet in the early to mid-1860s.”

James H. Rubin, Manet’s Silence and the Poetics of Bouquets (London: Reaktion Books, 1994), pp. 41-2.

Similar Subjects by Other Artists

Moritz von Schwind, The Symphony, 1846-52 (Schackgalerie, Munich)

Adolf von Menzel, The Flute Concert at Sanssouci Palace, 1850-52

About the Artist

Born: Paris, 23 January 1832
Died: Paris, 30 April 1883
Nationality: French